How to store red potatoes
In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to store red potatoes?” with an in-depth analysis of the proper storage of red potatoes. Moreover, we will also discuss the shelf life of red potatoes and how to tell if they have spoiled.
How to store red potatoes?
To store red potatoes, the ideal temperature for storing potatoes is 3.3–4.4 °C with a relative humidity of 90–95%, along with the proper sprout prevention procedures (1).
For long term storage of potatoes, they should be cured. Curing red potatoes before storage is a crucial step to extend their shelf life and improve their quality (2).
To do that, leave the red potatoes in a well-ventilated, dark room with temperatures between 50 to 60°F (10 to 15°C) for about 1 to 2 weeks.
During this curing process, the skin of the potatoes will toughen, and any minor injuries or surface bruises will heal, reducing the risk of rot and disease development (2).
After that, brush off any loose dirt or debris from the potatoes and store the red potatoes at 7 to 10 °C (45 to 50 °F) in cool, dry, and dark places and relative humidity around 90% (2).
To store cut red potatoes, place them in cold water with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to prevent browning. Keep the bowl covered and refrigerate, using them within 1 to 2 days to maintain quality and safety.
Avoid leaving cut potatoes at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth and foodborne illness (11,12).
You can also store potatoes in the freezer and extend their shelf life even more (13)
What is the shelf life of red potatoes?
When stored in a cool, dry, and dark place with good ventilation, red potatoes can last for about 1 to 2 months (3).
If stored in the refrigerator red potatoes can last for 3 to 4 weeks. Cooked potatoes can last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and 10 to 12 months in the freezer (3,4).
What affects the shelf life of red potatoes?
Potatoes’ shelf life can be affected by several factors:
Storage conditions: Low temperatures below 40 °F (4 °C) can cause starches to be converted to sugars, which can affect the flavor and texture of potatoes. High temperatures can hasten sprouting and softening (5).
Light exposure: Light stimulates the production of solanine, a natural toxin that turns potatoes bitter and green. When consumed in large quantities, the toxic glycoalkaloid solanine can have a negative impact on one’s health (6).
Pathogenic microorganisms: Bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli can contaminate potatoes in a number of ways, including negligent handling, contaminated soil, or contaminated water used in cultivation or processing. The presence of molds can also decrease the shelf life of red potatoes (7,8).
Potatoes that have been improperly handled or stored may also create an environment that is anaerobic and conducive to the growth of Clostridium botulinum and the production of its toxin (9).
How to tell if red potatoes have spoiled?
To tell if red potatoes have spoiled is a process that will only use your senses, so make sure to check for any of the following signs before consuming stored potatoes (6,7,10).
- Sprouting: Sprouting does not necessarily indicate that potatoes are rotten, but is a sign that the potatoes’ quality is starting to deteriorate.
- Wrinkly appearance: As time goes on, potatoes will start to wrinkle and get squishy.
- Mold presence: It is not advisable to rinse potatoes before storing them because food exposed to humidity can cause molds like Fusarium species to appear. If you see any strange fuzzy spots, discard them.
- Musty odor: Potatoes should normally exhibit a fresh and earthy scent. So, when this changes to a musty odor, it is time to discard them.
In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to store red potatoes?” with an in-depth analysis of the proper storage of red potatoes. Moreover, we will also discuss the shelf life of red potatoes and how to tell if they have spoiled. r
1. Emragi, E., Jayanty, S.S. Skin Color Retention in Red Potatoes during Long-Term Storage with Edible Coatings. Foods, 2021, 10(7):1531.
2. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Agricultural Research Service Agriculture, Handbook Number 66, 2016, 506-507.
3. Food labeling and product dating. USDA.
4. How long can you store cooked potatoes?. USDA, 2023.
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6. Pavlista, A.D. G1437 Green Potatoes: The Problems And The Solution. Historical Materials from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. 2001, 88.
7. Doan, C.H.,Davidson, P.M. Microbiology of Potatoes and Potato Products: A Review. J Food Protection, 2000, 63(5):668-83
8. Qiu Y, Zhou Y, Chang Y, et al. The Effects of Ventilation, Humidity, and Temperature on Bacterial Growth and Bacterial Genera Distribution. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022;19(22).
9. BAM Chapter 17: Clostridium botulinum. FDA, 2017.
10. Barth, M., et al. Microbiological Spoilage of Fruits and Vegetables. In: W.H. Sperber, M.P. Doyle (eds.), Compendium of the Microbiological Spoilage of Foods and Beverages, Food Microbiology and Food Safety, Springer, 2010.
11. How should I store cut fruit and vegetables?. USDA, 2023.
12. Moon KM, Kwon EB, Lee B, Kim CY. Recent Trends in Controlling the Enzymatic Browning of Fruit and Vegetable Products. Molecules. 2020, 15, 25(12):2754.
13. Silva, C.L.M. Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegetables. In book: Frozen food science and technology, 2008.